Captain's Log – Anchored in Chippewa Bay…

Date: Thursday September 15, 2016

Position: Anchored in Chippewa Bay on the American side of the St. Lawrence River, State of New York

Chippewa Bay. Mentioned in music and other literature. Located within the area of the upper St. Lawrence River described as the Thousand Islands. An exceedingly picturesque area. Homes dating back more than a century built on nearly enumerable islands and islets, some homes within one stride of the river. In the days before income tax, some of the homes were considerable statements of wealth. Singer Castle is just one example — very European in its style. Mostly the homes are simple “summer cottages,” ranging in size from one room to sprawling. Boathouses abound. The water level remains nearly constant so a boathouse is a pretty practical idea. Some are very imaginative architectural expressions, nearly castle-like in some instances.

Pride is in a very quiet area separated from the commercial ship channel by Cedar Island. The winds during the transit thus far between Erie and Brockville permitted good sailing and fast sailing in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The transit down the eight locks of the Welland Canal was speedy due to not as many commercial ships transiting as there sometimes can be. So we are ahead of schedule. A great opportunity to find a sheltered and quite anchorage. Today is maintenance day. Soon the ship will be back in the Atlantic with its saltiness. We want to get as much re-coating of the ship as we can to better hold off salt-rooted wear and tear. The crew have the varnish somewhat prepared. Today’s focus is mast and rigging care: tar and slush put on served and unserved wire rigging, coating of the big lower masts with protective wood preserving oil, and paint upon selected areas of the exterior hull.

With a full night’s rest last night and another one coming tonight, based on benign weather and a quite anchorage, there is a great opportunity to care for the ship and get ready for both Tall Ships® Brockville this coming weekend and the long voyage back home to Baltimore starting next week.


Captain Jan C. Miles

Photo: Thanks to Rebecca Samler, who caught Pride II firing a cannon on Lake Erie after departing Tall Ships® Erie on September 12, for sharing her photo with us. Click on the photo for a full view.

Nearing Rochester…On Time!

TIME: 1430 EDT

PRIDE II is now negotiating the 1000 Islands of the Upper St. Lawrence River. The challenge of catching up three lost days of transit out of a planned total of ten seems to be met. The plan is to arrive off Rochester in company with Schooner LYNX at noon tomorrow…a plan put into play more than a month ago…but was at risk when PRIDE II was trapped in Lunenburg early last week…weather bound for three days. 

The key to catching up the three lost days was balancing fuel use with sailing opportunities while keeping a high enough average speed to catch up the lost three days of time. It is 1,160 nautical miles to Rochester from Lunenburg. Having ten days to cover the distance required 4.8 knot average speed. Covering the same distance in seven days required 6.9 knot average. Meanwhile there is not enough fuel aboard PRIDE II to motor for whole distance. Plus the distance is not truly representative of the actual through the water distance traveled considering the need to motor against the flowing current of the St. Lawrence River.

There was not much wind to use right after departing Lunenburg. In fact no wind was there till 36 hours after departing Lunenburg. When the wind did show, it came from a helpful direction with enough force to help PRIDE II cover over two hundred nautical miles in less than 24 hours. Except for that short fresh breeze, PRIDE II would not be able to contemplate arriving Rochester on the originally intended day.

While we did not get much sailing beyond a day in. We caught a significant break! Typically wind in the St. Lawrence River comes from the southwest. This is the first time in almost two dozen trips up & down this river the wind has been predominately northeasterly. Having a favorable wind while motoring makes a huge difference in PRIDE II’s motoring speed and fuel efficiency. I had been worried that going fast enough under power to make up the lost time could use too much fuel and we might just be on time only to lose to the need to stop for fuel. As it stands now, it looks like PRIDE II will arrive Rochester with less than seventy gallons…which is less than ten percent of fuel capacity and represents only twelve hours of engine time.

With so much motoring, what kinds of things do the crew do when not sailing? If the weather is good, maintenance. With the additional good fortune of dry weather while motoring up the St. Lawrence River the crew were able to do quite a bit of painting while PRIDE II was grinding her way up river to the Great Lakes.

We still have more than a hundred nautical miles to go…something could still go wrong…so please keep an eye out for the Rochester news. There ought to be two Chesapeake Bay Schooners arriving at noon tomorrow.

Jan C. Miles, Captain aboard PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II